JUST shy of two years after his wife’s murder brave John McAreavey has announced that he is returning to action for Tullylish.
He will once again captain the team, which will be managed by his late wife Michaela’s brother, Mark, who is the son of Tyrone boss Mickey Harte.
Both John and Mark were thrown into the world spotlight last year during the trial into Michaela’s murder in Mauritius.
And, almost three years after John, watched proudly by his then-fiancée on the sidelines, led Tullylish to the Down Intermediate Championship title, he’s back in action for the Laurencetown team.
“The GAA family has been a superb help to our family and the Harte family and now it’s great to be looking forward to getting back out onto the pitch with Tullylish again,” said John.
“Mark coming in as manager is a great boost for us.”
Tullylish secretary Gerry Roberts believes that the combination of Mark as manager and John as captain can help fire the club to new heights next year.
“John has been a tremendous clubman all along the line and we are glad to have him back as captain,” says Roberts.
“Mark is coming in as manager and there is a terrific sense of anticipation as we await the new season.
John missed the season just past as he was immersed in the Mauritius trial and then took time out to undergo knee surgery.
He is currently following a rigid rehabilitation programme but expects to be fit for the start of the Down league.
The success of the ‘Match for Michaela’ last month has further fired his enthusiasm and confirmation of Mark’s appointment as manager has evoked considerable optimism within the go-ahead Tullyish club.
Mark of course has served Errigal Ciaran and Tyrone, managed by his father Mickey, with considerable distinction in the past and has since acquired a fresh reputation as a coach.